Portsmouth, Virginia: The Story of Thomas Riddick

Gravestone of Thomas Riddick, Mt. Olive Cemetery (Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex), est. 1879. Photo: Nadia K. Orton, March 16, 2014. All rights reserved.

One of the most interesting gravestones in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex (est. 1879), is for Thomas Riddick. Located in the northwest corner of Mt. Olive Cemetery, the oldest in the complex, it features an interesting inscription regarding Thomas’ occupation.

Portsmouth, Virginia: Finding Olivia of Lincolnsville

Map of Lincolnsville, Portsmouth, Virginia, ca. 1889. Norfolk Public Library, March 15, 2012.

The first time I came across the name Olivia Jordan Butt Smith, my paternal great-great-grandaunt, was twelve years ago. I was researching a branch on the paternal side of my family tree, the Youngs of Portsmouth, Virginia. Olivia was born in 1862, in Portsmouth, the daughter of Jordan and Lovey Butt (ca. 1829-1895). She was the sister of Mary Alice Butt Young (1865-1929), my paternal great-great-grandmother, Matilda A. Butt Colden (1856-1910), Anna Butt Schofield (b, ca. 1855), and Nancy Ellen Butt Lynch (ca. 1848-1879), my paternal great-great-grandaunts.

Suffolk, Virginia: Historical Marker, Oak Lawn Cemetery (est. 1885)

Photo: Nadia K. Orton, November 5, 2019. All rights reserved.

I finally had a chance to swing by and see the historical marker for Oak Lawn Cemetery. I first pitched the idea to the other members of the Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation late last year, and once approved by the existing members (3), quickly got to work on writing the text for the marker. With the assistance of the representative from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR), a working text was hammered out over the early months of this year. It’s wonderful to see this project come to fruition, with the added bonus of the marker being located just across the way from Suffolk’s City Hall (read: lots of traffic!)